Firefighters struggled to contain the most deadly and destructive wildfire in California history Tuesday while mobile coroner's teams combed the incinerated remains of a once thriving town and its environs looking for more victims of the carnage.
The historic blaze raging 90 miles north of Sacramento has claimed at least 42 lives, and dozens of people remain unaccounted for. More than 6,400 homes were destroyed by the fast-moving Camp Fire blaze, many in Paradise, a community of 27,000 people.
“This is an unprecedented event,” Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said.
“If you’ve been up there, you also know the magnitude of the scene we’re dealing with. I want to recover as many remains as we possibly can, as soon as we can, because I know the toll it takes on loved ones."
More search teams, two portable morgue units from the military and cadaver dogs were being brought in Tuesday.
The fire had grown to almost 200 square miles and was 30 percent contained, Cal Fire said.